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Android Increases Share Of U.S. Smartphone Market, More Playing Games On Phones
Android Increases Share Of U.S. Smartphone Market, More Playing Games On Phones
November 7, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

November 7, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
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    4 comments
More: Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing



A new report on the U.S. mobile phone market finds Google's Android OS being used on an increasing plurality of all smartphones, as more mobile phone users overall report playing games on their handsets.

ComScore's September MobiLens survey of over 30,000 mobile phone users found that Android was being used on close to 45 percent of the 87.4 million smartphones in the United States, up from 40.2 percent in June.

The gains came at the expense of RIM's Blackberry OS, which fell from 23.5 percent to 18.9 percent of the smartphone market in the period. Apple's iOS creeped up from 26.6 percent of the market to 27.4 percent, while Microsoft's Windows Phone stayed relatively flat at 5.6 percent.

While Android dominates the smartphone category, the entire smartphone market still only makes up 37 percent of the 234 million mobile phones in use in the U.S., according to the report.

ComScore's survey also found 28.8 percent of all U.S. mobile phone users played mobile games in September, up slightly from 26.9 percent reported in June and 28.5 percent reported in August.

That ratio is comparable to the number of U.S. mobile phone users that accessed social networks on their phones, but well below the 71.1 percent that use phones for text messaging.


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Comments


Michael Yacavone
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Are there a significant number of game developers making money on Android? All that market share, but is any money flowing?

Harry Fields
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Google is in a precarious situation. They need to somehow wrestle control of their O/S back from the manufacturers and carriers without alienating them. The absolutely ludicrous fragmentation of kernel and wrapper distribution makes Android development much more painful than it should be. Or maybe it's the bug-squishing that's more painful than the actual development :D Either way, they need to "platform-ize" Android desperately.

Rey Samonte
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@Michael...I'd like to know the answer to this question myself!

James Coote
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My own experience says that there are plenty of people making money off of android games, but it throws up many more challenges than developing for iOS.



The sheer number of apps and the 'wild' marketplace means you really can't just chuck a quality app out there and expect it to succeed.



There's also the issue of piracy.



Moreover, I, like a lot of android users chose android because it is cheap. That doesn't bode well when it comes to trying to charge people for apps. There are some farily shocking statistics for android paid-for apps (something like 80% have <100 downloads).



One piad-for app made from android and iOS, the developers made ~$60k. Downloads were 3:2 for apple (so 40% of downloads were android). However of the $60k, <1% of that was from android. The other 99% from apple



The alternative is in-app billing, which has only recently been supported by the android market. The result is (especially for games) there are about half a dozen different 3rd party platforms. Papaya and Ngmoco Mobage being two examples, but there are also a number of competing API's from telco's. Amazon are in closed beta for in-app billing through their own market. For an android games dev like me, it presents a myriad of options. I can't go with papaya for example, because I've already effectively written my own game engine. Each of the other options are going to miss some people (the telco's particularly where a customer in the UK, where I am, has to be on O2 for one API to work and Vodaphone for another).


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